Industry Insider: Mandi Lennard's favourite front row guests

19 February 2009

Earlier this week, PR guru Mandi Lennard told us the thing she was most worried about this London Fashion Week was oversleeping. And today the fashion power player who has nurtured Roksanda Ilincic, Gareth Pugh, Danielle Scutt and Henry Holland from newbies to industry darlings spills the beans on what it takes to pull off the perfect runway show. Learn from the masters, people...

*What is the most important thing about organising a successful show?

Just worry about the front two rows and make sure you've got a new lipstick.

*How do you judge who to put on front row?

We're quite democratic and if someone has supported a designer from early on, we respect that.  I like to think of our show seating as the new era of front row guests.  My favourite guests are Sam and Anna, the assistants to Nicola Formichetti, fashion director of Dazed & Confused; they are front row guests of the future – but not yet!

*What are the worst things people can say to you in the midst of LFW?
Don't ask me if I can find you a sandwich backstage because you are hungry two minutes before the show's about to start. Don't leave me a voicemail message as I really don't have half an hour spare to pick it up.

*And what about the top creeping tips!

‘I don't mind standing at the back, restricted view, bollard in the way' usually gets you in.

*Talk us through your door policy…

If you're invited we will have sent you an invite, and if you forgot it, then your name is on the list, and if you decide you are someone else you will be rumbled as we've seen Minority Report.

*What is the worst thing that can go wrong at a show?

For me, it's bad casting; models make or break a show.

*What's your fashion week secret?

One of the newspaper editors will always ask me something I don't know such as how old the designer is, so I pretend to get a call on my mobile and run into the distance.

*What do you not like about shows?

Someone's coat lining in runway shot, models who walk really really slowly and Suzy Menkes yawning.

*You often say you find fashion week funny. Why?

I used to stand at the exit so I could say goodbye to everyone and gauge their response; the ones who don't make eye contact, you know they hated it.


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